Danielle Bonucchi's blog

The Great and Powerful Tiger

Ever since childhood, I have always been fascinated by tigers. When I think of a tiger, I think exotic. I imagine this beautifully striped creature prowling through jungles untouched by man. The exoticism of tigers tied well into the artistic ideals of the Romantic period, as demonstrated by Eugène Delacroix’s Royal Tiger. The lithograph certainly evokes strong feeling, though it is difficult for me to ascribe a name for it.

OS Fermentation Workshop

Over the last two weeks, I have been closely watching my jar of fermenting cabbage, radishes, garlic, Asian pear, and carrots. Within a day, the juices from my concoction had already began to spill out from the top. I could even see the air bubbles racing to top of the jar. Surprisingly, the smell hasn’t been overwhelmingly disgusting. It’s noticeable, but subtle.

Let Water Rain

My personal connection to water wasn’t obvious to me at first. Despite living close to the ocean, I’m not a beach person. I appreciate the ocean and acknowledge its beauty, but that was the extent of my relationship with the Pacific. I was never much of a swimmer either; in fact, I dreaded swimming lessons as a child. I was almost beginning to think that I had no special connection to water, when it suddenly hit me: the rain. I love the rain.

Fight of the Bumblebee

After Jason Fahrion’s lecture on bees, I couldn’t stop thinking of all the ways that bees have been integrated into our culture. The birds and the bees. Mind your own bee’s wax. The Queen Bee. Sweeter than honey. There’s even a 50’s themed diner near my hometown called “The Busy Bee Café”. Although bees have yet to take over our towns as they did in The Swarm (which is extremely unlikely), they certainly have made an impact in our lives.

Plants are People too?

In grade school, many of us are taught that one of the main characteristics that distinguishes animals from plants is their ability to move. Generally, this is true. Animals have muscles and can move. Plants have roots and are puppets to the wind. However, as we get deeper into the education system, we discover several exceptions to even the most fundamental concepts we were taught. For example, there are plants that CAN move. The Desmodium motorium, perhaps better known as the “dancing plant”, is able to rotate its leaves and “dance”.


Naturally, when I got back home from the Kathy High exhibition I listened to David Bowie. Then I looked up iconic photos of him for comparison; they were so similar, it was surreal. I grew up with my parents occasionally listening to Bowie, but I would have never thought that his poop could potentially help someone with Crohn’s disease. I’m a bit skeptical about the effectiveness of storing stool samples in a jar of honey, but I’m open to the idea storing samples if it means improving lives.

Foraging, DIYBio, and Blood Wars, Oh My!

               Never had I thought that in one of my classes I would walk around the “wilds” of UCLA and forage for food. I was secretly hoping to find some hidden fruit trees, but instead I was surprised by how many edible plants there are around campus. Who knew you could eat dandelion leaves and clovers? I’ve had rose-flavored ice cream before (which tastes exactly how it smells and is delicious), so I wasn’t too surprised to hear that some flowers are edible. Out of curiosity, I researched other edible flowers.

First Impressions and "Strange Culture"

               Science is often viewed as a purely objective discipline, one where only tedious work and boring repetition of standardized tasks can produce meaningful results. Art, in contrast, tends to represent a perspective based on subjectivity and reckless abandon that may or may not hold meaning. When I had first heard the phrase “biotechnology and art”, I had initially thought of the illustrations scattered throughout my science textbooks over the years.

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